Imaging characteristics of subcutaneous amyloid deposits in diabetic patients: the “insulin ball”

Noriko Tanio, Taiki Nozaki, Masaki Matsusako, Jay Starkey, Koyu Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the imaging characteristics of subcutaneous amyloid deposits occurring at sites of insulin injection, commonly known as “insulin balls,” in diabetic patients on ultrasound, CT, and MRI with pathologic correlation. Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the radiographic findings of 14 lesions in 9 patients diagnosed with subcutaneous amyloid deposits at our institution between 2005–2015. Three board-certified radiologists analyzed the following: (1) the shape, size, margin, morphologic characteristics, and blood flow on US using the color Doppler signal, (2) shape, size, margin, attenuation, and presence or absence of contrast enhancement on CT, and (3) shape, size, margin, signal intensity, and presence or absence of contrast enhancement on MRI. Results: All lesions showed ill-defined hypovascular subcutaneous nodules with irregular margins. The median diameter of lesions was 50.4 mm on US, 46.8 mm on CT, and 51.4 mm on MRI. The internal echogenicity of subcutaneous amyloid deposits was hypoechoic and heterogeneous on US. All lesions showed isodensity compared to muscle with irregular margins and minimal contrast enhancement on CT. Both T1- and T2-weighted MR images showed low signal intensity compared with subcutaneous fat. Normal diffusion and minimal contrast enhancement were seen. Conclusions: Subcutaneous amyloid deposits which cause insulin resistance are typically ill-defined and heterogeneous hypovascular subcutaneous nodules with irregular margins on imaging that correspond to insulin injection sites. It is also characteristic that T2WI shows low intensity compared with fat on MRI, reflective of the amyloid content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CT
  • Imaging findings
  • MRI
  • Subcutaneous amyloid deposits
  • US

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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